Feb 22, 2018
My story is not new, or strange. At least not in the beginning. I was one of "those" girls. Not the right look, not the right body, not the right personality. I was bullied without mercy on the bus ride twice a day. "You're so fat." "Watch out everyone! Whale coming through!" "You're so stupid and ugly." You know, normal teenage soul-destroying, suicide-thought inducing behavior. Books were my escape. And my drug of choice was always fantasy. The stories and worlds were so drastically different than what I knew, I could leave my pain behind for a few hours without triggering raw emotions. Life moved on. I grew up. Damaged but alive. I found the performing arts and discovered I had gifts there. I won my state vocal competition. I went to college as a theater major on a vocal scholarship. I got married. I had two children. And as my life moved further away from my creative outlets, a deep hold of need opened up in my soul. And it hurt. So very, very badly. I felt fractured, less than whole and desperate with a desire I didn't fully understand. But going back to theater with two small children, while my husband and I both worked, was out of the question. Singing opportunities were also limited in my small town. I pleaded, cried, prayed, begged, searched--looking for something to save me. And then the Twilight craze hit. I borrowed the entire series from a parent of one of my preschool students and read them all over the weekend. When I returned the books she was blown away with how fast I read and stood there, going on and on about it. But then she stopped abruptly—I remember it so clearly because it almost looked like someone had smacked her—she said, "You should write a book." I laughed. And I didn’t say what I wanted to say…because it wasn’t very nice. "That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" But after that day, the thought would not leave my mind. It would whisper at me multiple times a day, every day, for WEEKS... "You should write a book" I told it to shut up, I told it to go away. The voice didn't care. Because the voice knew that it was my answer, the one I'd been looking for. A few months later I finally opened my laptop up in utter frustration with my mind screaming, "OH MY GOSH FINE, I'LL WRITE A BOOK!" And I started typing. Turns out writing is what I should've been doing all along. This was my calling, my passion, my love, my total fulfillment. That black hole of need vanished. My weird quirks and outlooks on life found a home. I discovered that my voice was lovely, instead of weird. I found that I was worthwhile and important. And in a beautiful full circle of events I discovered that my words, which were currently saving me, were offering others the same escape from their lives that I had needed years before. Hello. My name is Devri Walls. I’m a reader and a writer and yes, both have completely and utterly saved me.